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Joint governance adds value

Through their representatives on the Plan’s governing bodies – the Sponsors’ Committee and the Board of Trustees – members and employers have an equal say in and share the risks of Plan decisions. This joint governance structure is recognized as a model for success in keeping defined benefit pension plans sustainable.

The governors are appointed by the Plan sponsors: the College Employer Council on behalf of the college boards of governors, the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA), and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

As a member of the Plan, you can be certain that your interests are well-represented, because both members and employers share equally in making the decisions that affect your benefit security.

Members of the Sponsors' Committee

The Sponsors’ Committee is an 8-member group, which approves Plan amendments and files actuarial valuations. Sponsors’ Committee members primarily represent the interests of the groups that appoint them. The Committee’s focus is determining how to best balance contribution rates and benefit design.

Pat (Patrick) Kennedy

Mr. Patrick Kennedy – Appointed 2013
Co-Chair, Sponsors' Committee
Pat Kennedy is an Employee representative (OPSEU-appointed). He is President of OPSEU Local 415, which represents faculty at Algonquin College. Mr. Kennedy is a professor in the Career and Academic Access Centre.

Brian Tamblyn

Mr. Brian Tamblyn – Appointed 2013
Co-Chair, Sponsors' Committee
Brian Tamblyn is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). Mr. Tamblyn is a private practice management consultant. He retired from a 30-year career at Georgian College in 2012, where he was President and CEO for 13 years. His prior Georgian experience included Vice President roles in Human Resources, Student Services, and Community and Business Development. Mr. Tamblyn has a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto.

Riley Burton

Mr. Riley Burton – Appointed 2017
Riley Burton is an Employee representative (OCASA-appointed). He is Chair, School of Business, Hospitality and Media Arts at Confederation College. Mr. Burton was a member of the OCASA Board of Directors and sits on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He has a Masters degree from Royal Roads University and is a certified Project Management Professional.  

Ross Gascho

Mr. Ross Gascho – Appointed 2017
Ross Gascho is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). He is a Partner at Fasken Martineau, practising in pensions and employee benefits. Mr. Gascho is a member of numerous legal and pension organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association Pension & Benefits Section. He previously sat on advisory committees for federal and provincial pension regulators. He has an LLB and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Cheri Hearty

Ms. Cheri Hearty - Appointed 2019
Cheri Hearty is an Employee representative (OPSEU-appointed) with 20 years of experience in the pension and benefits industry. As a Benefits Officer for OPSEU, she assists members with questions about pensions and benefits, advocates for members, provides guidance to locals in bargaining, and advocates for the value of Defined Benefit pension plans. Ms. Hearty has served on a number of different pension plan and benefit boards of trustees.

Steve Hudson

Dr. Steve Hudson – Appointed 2014
Steve Hudson is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). Dr. Hudson is Senior Vice-President, Academic and Learner Services at Niagara College. He previously held positions such as Vice-President Corporate Services as well as Senior Business Officer in a school board. Dr. Hudson has a Bachelor of Engineering from Royal Military College, as well as a Masters of Engineering, Masters of Business Administration and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Toronto.

 

Anne Sado

Ms. Anne Sado – Appointed 2017
Anne Sado is an Employer representative (CEC-appointed). She is President of George Brown College. Ms. Sado also sits on several boards including ORION, Polytechnics Canada, and the Toronto Region Board of Trade. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering and an MBA from the University of Toronto. Ms. Sado was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2013. 
 

Veneise Samuels

Ms. Veneise Samuels – Appointed 2018
Veneise Samuels is an Employee representative (OPSEU-appointed). She is a Student Success & Industry Liaison Officer at George Brown College. Ms. Samuels also serves as Second Vice President on the executive of OPSEU Local 557.

Members of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is a 12-member board. As fiduciaries, Trustees are legally bound to act in the interests of all Plan members. The Board of Trustees sets the investment strategy and funding risk that are appropriate for the Plan’s long-term obligations and establishes policies for administering benefits.

Don Smith

Mr. Don Smith – Appointed 2013
Chair, Board of Trustees
Don Smith is an Employee-appointed Trustee. He is Co-Chair of the Audit Committee and sits on the Finance and Administration Committee and Governance Committee. Mr. Smith is a faculty member of the School of Business at Georgian College. As a Chartered Accountant, he has served as a member of professional committees concerned with member education and accounting standards development. Mr. Smith has an MBA from York University and a Diploma in Education from the University of Western Ontario. 

Scott Blakey

Dr. Scott Blakey - Appointed 2015
Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees
Scott Blakey is an Employer-appointed Trustee. He serves on the Audit Committee and Governance Committee. Dr. Blakey is the Chief Administrative Officer of Durham College. He has extensive volunteer experience, including 12 years with the TTC Pension Fund Society. Dr. Blakey served in various roles there, including as President of the Pension Fund Society. He has a doctorate in education from the University of Toronto. 

Virginia Di Monte

Ms. Virginia Di Monte – Appointed 2018
Virginia Di Monte is an Employee-appointed Trustee. She is Co-Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. Ms. Di Monte is a Payroll Administrator at Seneca College. She also serves as Treasurer for OPSEU Local 561.

Rascho Donchev

Mr. Rasho Donchev - Appointed 2015 
Mr. Donchev is Co-Chair of the Governance and Audit committees. He also sits on the Investment Committee. Mr. Donchev is a Scheduling Officer at Centennial College and serves as President of OPSEU Local 559.

Harry Gibbs

Mr. Henry (Harry) Gibbs – Appointed 2003
Harry Gibbs is an Employer-appointed Trustee. He serves as Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. An advisor to several Canadian pension investment committees, he has held numerous senior leadership roles in the pension investment industry. Mr. Gibbs previously served as a Vice President and as a Director of the Pension Investment Association of Canada. 

David Haley

Mr. David Haley – Appointed 2019
David Haley is an Employee-appointed Trustee. He serves as Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. Mr. Haley is a professor in the School of Advanced Technology at Algonquin College where he teaches engineering and mathematics courses. He also serves on the executive of OPSEU Local 415 and is a member of the OPSEU CAAT-A Divisional Executive Collective Bargaining Information Services Committee. Mr. Haley has a BEng from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Karen McRae

Ms. Karen McRae – Appointed 2016
Karen McRae is an Employer-appointed Trustee. She sits on the Investment Committee and the Finance and Administration Committee. Ms. McRae has experience in the finance, pension, and mutual fund industries. She previously worked as Senior Vice President, Investments at the Mackenzie Financial Corporation. She also sits on the Board of Trustees of the Anglican Church of Canada Pension Fund. Ms. McRae holds an MBA/LLB from York University and an ICD.D designation. 

Alnasir Samji

Mr. Alnasir Samji – Appointed 2010
Alnasir Samji is an Employer-appointed Trustee. He is Co-Chair of the Audit Committee and serves on the Finance and Administration Committee. He is Managing Principal at Alderidge Consulting Inc., and serves as a Director on the Torstar Board where he chairs the Pension Committee. Mr. Samji previously worked as a Principal at Towers Perrin, specializing in pension and actuarial consulting. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Michael Seeger

Mr. Michael Seeger – Appointed 2019
Mike Seeger is an Employee-appointed Trustee. He sits on the Finance and Administration Committee. Before retiring, Mr. Seeger was the Director of Financial Services at Loyalist College. He previously sat on the CAAT Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2017. Mr. Seeger is a retired professional accountant. 

Beverley Townsend

Ms. Beverley Townsend – Appointed 2008
Beverley Townsend is an Employer-appointed Trustee. She is Co-Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and a past Chair of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Townsend is a health care consultant with over 30 years of management and administration experience in the public healthcare sector. She is a past Chair of ACAATO (forerunner to Colleges Ontario) and past Chair of the Loyalist College Board of Governors and the College Foundation Board (she remains an honorary director). 

Gretchen Van Riesen

Ms. Gretchen Van Riesen – Appointed 2015
Gretchen Van Riesen is an Employer-appointed Trustee. She is Co-Chair of the Governance Committee and serves on the Investment Committee. Ms. Van Riesen is a consultant in the pensions and benefits industry. She serves on several boards, including the Municipal Employer Pension Centre of Ontario and the Teachers’ Pension Plan Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Kim Watkins

Ms. Kim Watkins – Appointed 2017
Kim Watkins is an Employee-appointed Trustee. She serves on the Investment Committee. She is the Chief Financial Officer of Mohawk College and serves as Treasurer for the Mohawk College Foundation. Ms. Watkins has an MBA from Laurentian University. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified General Accountant. She also holds a Certified Risk Management designation. 

Subcommittees of the Board

Equal representation and voting extends to these subcommittees of the Board of Trustees that make recommendations to the Board in particular areas of focus:

  • Appeals Subcommittee – hears member appeals of the interpretation of Plan rules.
  • Audit Committee – reviews the effectiveness of the organization in controlling and managing operational risk. It ensures the reliability of financial reporting and reviews the annual financial statements.
  • Finance and Administration Committee – is concerned with Plan design, funding and administration, legislation, litigation, and the appointment and evaluation of actuarial and legal advisors.
  • Governance Committee – assists the Board of Trustees in ensuring effective Board functioning and decision making as well as overseeing management of the CEO & Plan Manager.
  • Investment Committee – develops and recommends the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures and related policies such as those concerning responsible investing and investments in derivatives.

CAAT Pension Plan documents and Funding Policy

CAAT Pension Plan Text - (PDF, Effective June 1, 2018)

2019 Valuation Report (PDF)

2017 Anual Report (PDF)

Funding Policy

The Funding Policy highlights the Plan’s long term focus of protecting promised benefits and minimizing contribution rate volatility, while recognizing the desire to achieve intergenerational equity. To deliver on these longer term goals while managing through short term volatility a blend of stability contributions, conditional benefits, and reserves are used.

Revised effective June 1, 2018

There are six funding levels that help the Plan maintain a long-term focus and achieve its key strategic goals of benefit security, contribution stability and intergenerational and inter-design equity. Note that “Design 1” refers to the DBprime, and “Design 2” refers to DBplus, the plan design for OTRFT members.  

DBprime

If the Plan has a deficit after using all reserves and the 3% stability contributions being paid by active members, Ontario pension law would require stability contributions to be further increased temporarily and/or that benefits members build in future be reduced to eliminate a deficit. Conditional inflation protection would not be paid to retired and deferred members.

DBplus

If the Plan has a deficit after using all reserves and contributions being paid by active members, the Plan would not pay post-retirement conditional inflation protection to retired and deferred members and will not pay pre-retirement benefit increases to active members. The Plan will also temporarily remove any early retirement subsidies. The Plan may consider reductions to future benefits by reducing the lifetime annual pension factor below 8.5%. 

DBprime

With the 3% in stability contributions being paid by active members and the Plan’s funding reserves being fully used, the funding level exceeds provincial funding minimums, meaning the Plan has a small surplus. The Plan will provide the current period of conditional inflation protection increases to retired and deferred members.

DBplus

With the contributions being paid by active members and the Plan’s funding reserves being fully used, the funding level exceeds provincial minimums, meaning the Plan has a small surplus. The Plan will provide the current year of conditional inflation protection increases to retired and deferred members and would restore the annual pension factor to 8.5% for future benefits while considering restoring any prior pension factor reductions in previous years (if any). The subsidized early retirement reduction rate will be set at 5%. Pre-retirement benefit increases for active members will not be made. 

DBprime

Stability contributions of 3% are required from active members. The Plan will provide current period conditional inflation protection increases for retired and deferred member plus make additional increases for past years of conditional inflation rate increases missed (if any). Surplus funds over provincial minimums will also be allocated to funding reserves to withstand up to a 0.5% reduction in the discount rate.

DBplus

The Plan will apply conditional inflation protection increases for retired and deferred members for the current period plus make additional increases for past years of inflation rate increases missed (if any). Pre-retirement benefit increases for active members will be applied. The subsidized early retirement reduction rate will be 5% and the lifetime annual pension factor will be 8.5%. Surplus funds over provincial minimums will also be allocated into funding reserves to withstand up to a 0.5% reduction in the discount rate.

DBprime

Stability contributions of 1%, 2%, or 3% are required from active members. All periods of conditional inflation protection increases for retired and deferred members have been made. Surplus funds over provincial minimums will be allocated into reserves to withstand up to a 1% reduction in the discount rate and build reserves to fund future conditional inflation increases for retired and deferred members.

DBplus

The Plan will pay current period pre-retirement benefit increases to active members and consider providing increases for past years of pre-retirement benefit increases that were missed (if any). The lifetime annual pension factor will be 8.5%. In addition, the Plan will consider early retirement reduction factors of 3%, 4%, or 5%. Post-retirement conditional inflation protection will be applied and surplus funds over provincial minimums will be allocated into reserves to withstand up to a 1% reduction in the discount rate and build reserves to fund future conditional inflation increases.

DBprime

Active members will be contributing stability contributions of 0% or 1%. The Plan has fully funded the reserves required to fund future conditional inflation protection increases and withstand a 1% reduction in the discount rate. Additional funding reserves are being built to withstand up to a 7.5% increase in liabilities as an additional cushion for securing promised benefits. 

DBplus

Pre-retirement benefit increases for active members and post-retirement conditional inflation protection for retired and deferred members will be applied, while the early retirement reduction factor will be 3%.The Plan will consider a lifetime annual pension factor to a rate of 8.5% or 9.5%. The Plan has the reserves required to fund future conditional inflation protection increases and can withstand a 1% reduction in the discount rate. Additional funding reserves are being built to withstand up to a 7.5% increase in liabilities as an additional cushion for securing promised benefits.

DBprime

Full funding reserves have been built. Stability contribution rate is 0%. Conditional inflation protection for retired and deferred members will be paid. The Plan has sufficient surplus to consider any combination of the following changes:

  • Provide ad hoc inflation protection increases on the part of pensions not covered by conditional or guaranteed inflation protection
  • Allocate additional funds into reserves – up to the federal tax limit
  • Reduce contributions below basic contribution levels
  • Improve benefits.

DBplus

Full funding reserves have been built. The lifetime pension factor is at least 9.5%. Conditional inflation protection for retired and deferred members and pre-retirement increases for active members will be made. The Plan has sufficient surplus to consider any combination of the following changes:

  • Provide post-retirement inflation protection increases above 75% of CPI
  • Increase the lifetime annual pension factor beyond 9.5%
  • Improve other benefits on an ad hoc basis.
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Interested in learning more?

If you represent an interested employer or member group and would like to speak to us, contact the CAAT Pension Plan directly.